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The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Greg Collinge receives National Science Foundation Research Fellowship

Greg Collinge

Greg Collinge, graduate student and ARCS scholar, who works with professor Jean-Sabin McEwen in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering conducting research in computational catalytic chemistry was recently awarded a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship.

The researchers develop atom-scale models of catalysts and reactions to better understand how they work. Catalysts are used in many chemical processes, including biofuels, plastics and hydrogen production. Collinge is working specifically to improve the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, a process to create chemicals and fuels from carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

View full article at WSU News

Aerosol, air pollution pioneer David Ensor receives WSU Alumni Achievement Award

Jim Petersen, David Ensor, and Roger McClellan

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – David S. Ensor, retired civil and chemical engineer, was honored April 11 with the Washington State University Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award for internationally recognized contributions to aerosol science that have helped protect workers and the public from potential air pollution hazards.

His career accomplishments have included: methods to characterize emissions from coal-fired power plants; technology to control ultra-fine airborne contaminants of semi-conductor chips; participation in government-private sector-academic efforts to detect and limit environmental threats; and innovative approaches to characterizing nanomaterials.

David Ensor speaking
David Ensor speaking at awards ceremony

Ensor retired in 2014 as a distinguished fellow, emeritus, of RTI International (formerly Research Triangle Institute), a nonprofit organization that provides research and technical services. He managed programs in nanotechnology, aerosol research, filtration, air pollution control technology, particle sampling and characterization, indoor air quality, pollution prevention, exposure research, surface cleaning, protective garments, microcontamination control, instrumentation development and test methods development.

After earning a bachelor of science degree at WSU in chemical engineering in 1963, he earned a master’s in chemical engineering and Ph.D. in civil engineering at the University of Washington and determined to pursue a career in environmental engineering.

Ensor has been a member of the WSU Alumni Association since 1990. In 2010, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of WSU’s Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. He and his wife have been presidents associates of the WSU Foundation since 2003 and in 2014 were recognized by the foundation as benefactors of WSU.

David Ensor with WSU Voiland School faculty member Nehal Abu-Lail, left, and student
David Ensor with WSU Voiland School faculty member Nehal Abu-Lail, left, and student

Ensor earned a 2014 Board of Directors Award from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology for contributions to developing international standards and the 2009 James Mildon Award from the institute for nanotechnology standardization. He was recipient of eight awards, 1995-2012, from RTI for exemplary service. He received the Hammer Award from the White House during the Clinton administration and the Meritorious Service Award from the American National Standards Institute.

He has several patents, almost 200 publications and is a founding editor-in-chief of Aerosol Science and Technology journal.

The WSUAA Alumni Achievement Award was created in 1970 by the WSUAA Board of Directors to recognize alumni who have given outstanding service to WSU and made contributions to their professions and communities. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. Of an estimated 250,000 students who have attended WSU, Ensor is the 523rd Alumni Achievement Award recipient.

View full article at WSU News

View article about award at RTI

WSU bioengineering students take 1st place at health product contest

Emily Willard and Katherine Brandenstein of Engage

UPDATE: April 28, 2016 – “Engage,” founded by Brandenstein and Willard, wins $15,000 in WSU Business Plan Competition

Two Washington State University bioengineering students won first place and $10,000 in the inaugural, regional Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) at the University of Washington on March 3. They were the only non-UW affiliated entrepreneurs among the 18 finalist teams that pitched ideas to more than 100 judges from business and health science professions.

Katherine Brandenstein
Katherine introduces vial with SafeShot lid
Emily Willard of Everett, Wash., and Katherine Brandenstein of Woodinville, Wash., are cofounders of Engage and won with the prototype for their product SafeShot. It is a lid that attaches to a multi-use medicine injection vial to sterilize the needle each time it enters the vial.

In the developing world, needle reuse is not uncommon. SafeShot’s sterilizing liquid stops the spread of contaminates such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

“This award will help us do further research on how SafeShot can become a standard in the vaccine market,” said Willard.

View full article at WSU News

NEW – View Northwest Public Television Interview with Willard and Brandenstein

Brandenstein and Willard with $10,000 check
Brandenstein and Willard with $10,000 check

WSU grant will help fight devastating citrus disease

Haluk Beyenal
Haluk Beyenal

PULLMAN, Wash. – Three Washington State University researchers have received a $2.1 million grant to help save the U.S. and global citrus industry. They will develop methods of growing a citrus-destroying bacteria so that strategies to fight the disease it causes can be pursued.

Huánglóngbìng, or HLB, is also called “citrus greening disease,” and it is destroying orange, grapefruit and lemon trees around the world. Scientists haven’t been able to grow and maintain cultures of the bacterium that causes the disease.

“The simple answers didn’t work and we need a way to fight this,” said biochemist David Gang, a fellow in WSU’s Insitute of Biological Chemistry.

“This disease is wiping out the citrus industry in the U.S., and in five years there may not be any citrus orchards left,” he said. “I like orange juice too much to let it go away without a fight.”

View full article at WSU News

Chrystal Quisenberry receives Hariet B. Regas Award

Chrystal Quisenberry and Dr. Nehal Abu-Lail

Chrystal Quisenberry and Dr. Nehal Abu-LailThe Association for Faculty Women announced its 2015-2016 award winners for outstanding women in graduate studies. These awards recognize superlative academic and scholarly accomplishments, as well as professional potential of women graduate students at WSU completing their degrees in the 2015-2016 academic year. Voiland School graduate student Chrystal Quisenberry was one of the recipients.

Dissertation: “Nanomechanics in Cartilage Tissue Engineering”
Chair: Dr. Nehal I. Abu-Lail Schol of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Familiar with and impressed by her achievements as an undergraduate both as a leader and a researcher, Dr. Abu-Lail recruited Chrystal for her lab. She summarizes her research saying, “Although more than 27 million people in the U.S. suffer from the joint disease osteoarthritis, current treatments do not restore the full functions of the tissue. Because articular cartilage is avascular, meaning it lacks blood vessels, it has a limited capacity for self-repair. This has prompted researchers to focus on cartilage tissue engineering. As cartilage acts as a load bearing surface, one of the challenges in tissue engineering is creating a construct with mechanical properties near that of native cartilage. We, along with our collaborators, use a bioreactor to apply loads to the growing tissue with one of our intentions being to improve the tissue’s mechanical properties which is then measured using an atomic force microscope.”

Chrystal has received thirteen scholarship and awards including a NASA Space grant and an NIH grant. She has worked as a TA in four classes and mentors five students as a Future Cougar of Color Ambassador. She has published four journal articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at twenty-four conferences.

View the story at the Association for Faculty Women’s website.

Professor Yong Wang catalyzes graduate education initiative

Chambroad and WSU executives partner together to educate the next generation

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University has entered into an agreement with Shandong Chambroad Holding Company Ltd., a private Chinese corporation, to educate WSU doctoral students to meet significant societal needs in energy and environment.

The corporation will provide up to $5 million to support five new students each year, up to a total of 20 students simultaneously, in chemical engineering, chemistry or materials science and engineering.

The privately run company started in 1991 and employs about 11,000 people in Boxing, China. Chambroad is engaged in petrochemicals, fine chemicals, culture and arts, education, agriculture and strategic investment..

A WSU team led by Vice President for Research Chris Keane and Vice President for International Programs Asif Chaudhry reached the agreement on a trip to China in January.

Support for studies in energy, environment

Yunsheng Ma, chairman of Shandong Petrochemical Co. Ltd., left, and WSU’s Chris Keane and Asif Chaudhry sign the agreement in China.
Yunsheng Ma, chairman of Shandong Petrochemical Co. Ltd., left, and WSU’s Chris Keane and Asif Chaudhry sign the agreement in China.
The Chambroad Distinguished Fellowship will provide graduate student and research support in the area of catalysis, a critical component of the manufacturing sector, especially in the production of high energy fuels and household chemicals.

Catalysts contribute more than 35 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). They are important in food production because fertilizer and pesticide production requires up to two percent of the world’s energy.

They are also important for environmental systems management, such as for vehicle emissions, and for production of many everyday products, said Jim Petersen, director of the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. Improving catalyst efficiency is important for increasing supplies, reducing costs and decreasing environmental impacts of petroleum-based and alternative fuels, he added.

With significant support from Gene (‘69, ChemE) and Linda Voiland, WSU’s program in catalysis has grown significantly in the past five years, nearly tripling student enrollment and research expenditures. The program benefits from extensive collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Voiland Distinguished Professors Yong Wang and Norbert Kruse hold joint appointments at PNNL.

Next-generation leaders meeting global challenges

“This partnership fits squarely within our university’s goals and mission and promises to address society’s biggest global challenges at the nexus of food, energy and the environment,” said Keane. “We look forward to working with Chambroad in training students to become our next generation leaders in addressing these pressing scientific challenges.”

The fellowship program will allow students to work collaboratively with WSU researchers. Research areas will be focused on energy conversion, carbon capture technology and utilization, and petrochemical conversion with the goal of creating economical, dependable and environmentally sustainable systems, said Petersen.

“This collaborative agreement provides a foundation for a multidimensional partnership between WSU and Chambroad to provide education and research that will strategically contribute to the advancement of society,” said Chaudhry. “As such, it represents an example of the impact that international collaborations can have on the world.”

The program will be supported by WSU’s Office of Research, Office of International Programs and Graduate School.

“Chambroad has a strong culture of teamwork and giving back that fits nicely with WSU’s land-grant heritage of applied and practical research to enhance the economy and improve quality of life,” said Keane. “I believe this partnership will strengthen our programs while producing high-impact research with real-world applications.”

Lifetime Achievement Award Honors Neil Ivory

Neil Ivory receives Lifetime Achievement Award

PULLMAN, Wash. – Faculty member Cornelius F. Ivory has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for pioneering work and leadership in electrokinetics (the motion of small particles in fluids induced by an electrical field).

He is the Paul Hohenschuh Distinguished Professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at Washington State University.

He was honored by the Advancing Electrokinetic Science (AES) Electrophoresis Society “for major advances in alternative electrophoretic focusing methods, including those employing gradients of velocity, electric field, conductivity and temperature, all of which have potential for protein purifications.”

“Professor Ivory has produced several pioneering works that shape the field of applied electrokinetics and separations. He is generous leader and truly interested in supporting the professional community,” said Mark Hayes, president of AES.

The society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and promoting electric field-mediated separations, manipulations and related phenomena. The organization was formed to promote and generate scientific knowledge and engineering techniques.

Read article at WSU News